Dodging traffic no fun

By Mike Barrington

Carol Huntington has had to run fast when crossing Okara Drive and the Porowini Ave bridge in Whangarei about 4pm on weekdays.

Her return trip can be even more frightening with a pushchair containing two grandchildren collected from a child-care centre in Morningside.

The traffic picks up as people drive home after knocking off work. Hurtling cars are hard to see through the foliage planted on the roundabout by the bridge and there is no designated crossing.

"There is no way someone in a wheelchair or a small child alone could cross here," Mrs Huntington said.

She has to watch out for her grandchildren. Brie, 4, is not much bother, but 2-year-old Angus is at that age for boys when he will be out of the pushchair and off in a flash.

So he is never out of her sight. She lost a son in a road accident 22 years ago and is determined it won't happen again.

Mrs Huntington said she took her road crossing problem to the Whangarei District Council in August and was told visibility would be improved, but nothing satisfactory had happened.

After the Advocate contacted the council last week, the obscuring foliage was trimmed, revealing a sign pointing motorists in the right direction to navigate the roundabout.

Council official Greg Monteith met Mrs Huntington by the roadside and later said he could sympathise with her situation as the road was quite busy to cross.

"The grass [on the roundabout] is impacting her visibility, so we will be cutting it again this week in an effort to make crossing easier for her," he said.

Mr Monteith said the council had no plans for changes to the road or for a pedestrian crossing to be installed.

Mrs Huntington said she had told Mr Monteith the first foliage trim was unsatisfactory, and if the next trim didn't improve her view of oncoming traffic she would be back on the phone to him.

"All I can do is keep at them," she said.

- Northern Advocate

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